A poem titled ‘Merry?’
Garrett W. Floyd of Kokomo sends this Jeer for contemporary Christmas celebrations:
“This writer has noticed recently that more and more our society is leaving Christ out of Christmas.
“Most of the Christmas songs you hear in the stores and on the radio are contemporary. Used to be at least there would be a mix with the traditional songs about our Lord. I viewed the production on NBC with the lighting of the New York City Christmas tree and all the songs with no mention of the true meaning of Christmas.
“Several years ago I composed a poem about Jesus being left out of his party:
“It’s Christmas Eve
“I’m reflecting on the greed
“People running all over one another
“(A stampede to find the perfect gift)
“Newscasts reporting on the economy
“Dreaming of a white Christmas
“(Was Jesus born in the snow?)
“The Lord has been expelled from school
“Driven away from public properties
“Bell ringers shoved into a corner
“And Santa Claus is god
“I don’t remember him being crucified
“I don’t remember hearing that he died for our sins
“And his spirit does not dwell within me
“I do not feel or see peace within the shopping malls
“My Lord is left out of His birthday party
“He’s an uninvited guest
“There are those of us who love Him
“And the peace of His Holy Spirit still lives within our souls”
Brenda Lee still ‘rockin’’
Jeff Hatton of Greentown sends this Cheer for a beloved popular singer:
“Brenda Mae Tarpley has her 68th birthday Dec. 11. She was born in a charity ward in an Atlanta, Ga., hospital weighing all of 4 pounds, 11 ounces.
“The family was poor, with no indoor plumbing in their early homes. But they had a battery-powered table radio that fascinated little Brenda Mae. Soon she was humming the melodies to the songs she heard on it, and she also sang solos in the Baptist church on Sunday.
“She grew up, all the way to 4 feet, 9 inches in height, and she became a singer with the new name of Brenda Lee. People were and still are amazed at such a powerful voice coming from so small a person.
“And sing she did. She had 37 hit songs on the U.S. charts from the late 1950s into the early 1960s. From 1960 to 1962, she had nine consecutive Billboard top 10 hits, a record for female singers until Madonna surpassed that total in 1986. Some of her songs were ‘All Alone Am I’, ‘Break It to Me Gently’ and ‘I’m Sorry’.
“As her voice matured in the late 1960s, she moved from rock ‘n’ roll to country music and had even more hits. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
“And we can hear her during this time of year singing her biggest hit song, ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’. Recorded in 1958 when she was just 13 years old, the song didn’t sell well when it was first released. But it has sold 5 million copies, and it gets played prominently every Christmas.
“She continues to perform today, just as she did on tour in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s with her international fame. And in a footnote to her career, her opening act for that tour was a new and relatively unknown rock ‘n’ roll group who called themselves: